We received the product for review and all opinions are our own.
A classic in the Texas Hill Country, Texas Hills Vineyard has been in the winemaking game since they first opened their doors in 1999. Several other wineries have utilized the cellar space at Texas Hills to get their start, so it is safe to say the Gilstrap family is very community oriented. They produce an array of wines ranging from dry whites and reds, as well as sweet wines and port style wines. They have become pretty well known for their Kick Butt Cab, so I decided it was time Texas Wine Lover did a formal review of said wine, and here it is.
There were two Kick Butt Cabs to choose from in the tasting room, so I tasted them both and picked the Estate bottling rather than the Newsom bottling. Once the cork is evicted from the neck of the bottle, the wine pours a garnet color with a slightly lighter garnet rim. The aromatics dance in the air with a distinct dominance of blueberries, red cherries, and a hint of leather. The palate is very similar minus the leather component. This wine is clean and balanced on the palate and drinks very smoothly.
There is something I cannot avoid discussing here as it is a frustrating thing for me regarding Texas wines. I find this bottle of wine to be a “typical” Texas Cabernet Sauvignon, meaning it is very soft and lacks high extraction and body. Cabernet Sauvignon is a grape noted for dark color, high tannins, and big bold-black fruit flavors, which this wine lacks in all three departments. This is nothing against the winery or winemaker as I consider them friends in the industry, but there are only three Texas Cabs for me that have ever lived up to what I feel Cab should be, and this bottle will not increase that list to four sadly. I can easily see why this wine is so popular amongst Texas wine consumers as it is a very easy drinking wine, but it is another example of Texas Cab Sauv not holding up to the traditional qualities of the grape.
- Texas Hills Vineyard Kick Butt Cab, Estate bottling, 2012 vintage
- Winemaker: Gary Gilstrap
- Appellation: Texas Hill Country AVA, Estate Vineyard – Johnson City, TX
- Grape Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon
- Barrels: N/A
- Clarity/brightness: Clear bright with no detectable flaws and no evidence of gas or sediment
- Tannins: Medium minus
- Acidity: Medium
- Alcohol: Medium
- Finish: Medium
- Alcohol by volume: 13.8%
Final thoughts; Aside from my personal opinions of Texas Cabernet in general and this bottle in particular, the Kick Butt Cab is a real crowd pleaser for those looking for a wine that sips well. Although this wine lacks a full bodied presence and complexity, I find it to be a straightforward patio red that would complement a plate of Brie and crackers.
Sip, savor, and enjoy my fellow aficionados.